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gwentpal

South Wales Borderers 2nd, 10th, 11th Diaries

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gwentpal

Hi Ken,

John Milton Wilson lived at 20 Hillside Terrace Waunllwyd and worked as a Coal Hewer at Waunllwyd Colliery. He enlisted in the 10th Battalion at Ebbw Vale on 30th November 1914 and was one of the 620 men who travelled to Colwyn Bay for training in January 1915. Landed at Le Havre, France on 3rd December 1915. Unfortunately the 10th seem to be one of the hardest hit in terms of remaining service records, I've hardly found any of the original Battalion so cant really tell you much about John's time in the Battalion.

Discharged on 17th September 1917 from Brecon Depot his Silver War Badge was numbered 134735, without a service record its not possible to tell when John was wounded although two months before he was discharged the Battalion had taken part in fighting at Pilckem and Langemarck during the opening weeks of Third Ypres.

Henry Mond was the son of Swansea industrialist Alfred Mond, Henry was commissioned Temp 2nd Lieutenant with the South Wales Borderers on 9th April 1915, moving to the Army Cyclist Corps on 14th June 1915. He landed in France on the 3rd December 1915 attached to the 10th Battalion Intelligence Corps. Henry was born in 1898 so was doing well to be made 2nd Lieutenant at 17 years of age but then it does help having a father of influence,

That's about all I can tell you, sometimes for the men that survived its harder to find any information than for the men that died, although its good to hear that you've managed to keep the medals in the family. If I find anything else i'll pass it on to you.

All the best Gwentpal

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Guest

Thankyou Gwentpal for this info. Very interesting. Do you know if there is a collection of photographs of the 10th Battalion SWB I can view. Thankyou once again much appreciated

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gwentpal

Ken,

I have been researching the 10th South Wales Borderers for about nine months now to see whether there was enough info etc out there for a possible book. After searching various archives I have only found two group photos of NCO's that could be described as official photos, I have also been given some single photos of individual soldiers by their relatives but only on the understanding that they would be used in a book. The local papers of the time feature some head and shoulder shots of casualties but the quality differs, many of the photos lost detail when they were put onto microfilm.

So unfortunately I think the answer to your question is no, although I'd be very happy to be proved wrong if anyone knows any different.

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KthDcknsn

Trying to find information on Edward Thomas Owen Roberts - Regt No. 25462 - Cpl.- Possibly 10/ South Wales Borderers - Any help would be fantastic - Think he may have moved to Trench Mortar Battery I have vague details of " att to 115/T.M.B. " from what I think or appear to be " his " medal records - any help would be appreciated

many thanks Keith

post-44633-0-50786100-1420029328_thumb.j

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gwentpal

Hi Keith,

Unfortunately 25462 Corporal Edward Roberts served with the 11th Battalion so there's not much I can tell you, all my time seems to be taken up with researching the 10th Battalion. His medal roll entry does show that he was attached to 115th Trench Mortar Battery. Do you have any idea where he lived, was born or his age??

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KthDcknsn

Many thanks for your reply at least I know which battalion to research

A little info

EDWARD THOMAS OWEN ROBERTS

The Info I sent to you re my Uncle Thomas was from his war medal.

He died on Sunday Jan 8th 1978 just 3 weeks short of his 80thbirthday.

So he must have been born 29 – 31/1/ 1898 in Llangollen

1891 Census Cum Cilis Vron, Denbeigh.

Edward Roberts 39 blacksmith Hannah Roberts 31 John Isaac Roberts son 12. Dinah Roberts dau 5 (my grandma) William Roberts son 2.

1901 Census Llangollen Denbeigh

Edward Roberts head, married, 48, blacksmith born Llangollen. Hannah Roberts wife, 39, born Ruabon (maiden name Hughes) John Isaac Roberts, son , 22, blacksmith born Elyon.

William Roberts son 12, born Llangollen. Sarah Ann Roberts dau 7, born Llangollen. EDWARD THOMAS OWEN son, 3, born Llangollen.

1911 Census Llangollen

Edward head 59, marr blacksmith at brickworks. Hannah wife 53 marr house keeper. John Isaac son, 32, single, blacksmith. William son 22, blacksmith. Edward Thomas Owen son, 13, grammar school.

He married

Mabel Owen sometime after W.W.1

Unfortunately, we don`t have a birth or death cert for him

This is all the relevant info I have of him.

WW1 –

REG NUMBER-25462

SOUTH WALES BORDERERS

CORPORAL-EDWARD THOMAS OWEN ROBERTS

BORN JAN 1900 - POSSIBLY LLANGOLLEN/RUABON AREA

FOUGHT AT YPRES & PASSENDALE.

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gwentpal

Hi Keith,

Thanks for taking the time to post the info, unfortunately Llangollen and Ruabon are many miles from Gwent so theres not really anything extra I add that will help you out.

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KthDcknsn

Many Thanks for the help anyway

At least I know he was with the 11th

Every little helps

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mikerose

Hi Gwent pal I saw from your post that you had a pic of some nco's what year would that have approx? I Wonder if my great grand dad is in the pic sgt rose 21216

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gwentpal

Hi mike,

Good to hear from you again mike, unfortunately the picture was taken sometime in 1915 whilst still training so a bit before the time Frederick makes Sergeant.

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mikerose

I just rechecked his service records whe was lance Cpl. During training my mistake thanks for the reply, how is the research going

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FrankKirkdale

if I may be so bold and ask for your time with....

Name: Frank Hargreaves Birth Place: Liverpool Death Date: 11 Apr 1918 Death Place: France and Flanders Enlistment Place: Liverpool Rank: Private Regiment: South Wales Borderers Battalion: 2nd Battalion Regimental Number: 41375

He's why my father, my son and myself are all FRANK Hargreaves

x

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gwentpal

Hi Frank,

I've not really done that much research into 2nd Btn South Wales Borderers, Service No's and enlistment dates, that's for a later date, although judging that Frank was only 19 when he died he was called up and trained sometime in 1917. His Training Number was TR/30201, the medal rolls show that he only served in the 2nd Battalion. So on that side of things there's not really much I can tell you; however, regarding the date he died I don't even have to look in the war diary for this, my grandfathers uncle Worthy Bull (2nd Btn 39838) is recorded as having died the same day and like Frank is commemorated on the Ploegstreet Memorial.

From the 3rd till the 8th of April the 2nd SWB had been in the front line trenches at Passchendaele, on the night of the 8th April they were relieved by the 10th Queens and travelled by light railway to Poperinghe, here they marched a few miles west to a hutment camp at Sint Jan ter Biezen for a well earned rest. Unfortunately for the men their rest was to be short lived as after 24 hours in camp they were given notice to move south to help stem the tide of the German spring offensive.

They were bussed south to a village called Neuf Berquin, where they arrived in the early hours of April the 10th, battalion strength was 20 Officers and 704 Other Ranks. The Germans had taken the town of Sailly and pushed over the Lys river in the direction of Estaires. The 2nd moved across the countryside in a south east direction and somewhere between Neuf Berquin and Estaires they dug in to await the enemies advance.

Early on April 11th they were bombarded with trench mortars and prepared to meet the coming attack, little did they realise that the Battalion to their left had already been attacked and beaten back leaving the 2nd's left wing totally unprotected, the Germans were able to work around behind the Borderers. Later that morning they were attacked by machine gunners on their left and also by bombers from the rear. According to details on the Commonwealth War Graves site Frank served with A Coy, the War Diary records

"Battn Hq was taken in the flank and rear, Major Somerville was last seen with 1 platoon of A Coy defending a small portion of trench but the enemy were close and round the flank. The left flank of the front line under Captain Bennett held on till the enemy rushed the trench from behind. Casualties were very heavy"

The men fought out in small groups and after reaching safety a head count revealed that only 3 Officers and 140 Other Ranks had survived.

Frank's body like so many others of the Battalion was never found and the men were eventually commemorated on the Ploegstreet Memorial, this in itself I found to be quite sad due to the fact that even if the men's families could have afforded to go on a pilgrimage to where their loved one's had died there was nowhere they could have visited. The Ploegstreet Memorial wasn't built until 1931, a full thirteen years after the men had died.

If you'd like the pages from the War Diary send me an e mail address, I also have a couple of pages written by Capt Sterndale Bennett which featured in the magazine "I was there" and gives a brief story to the action.

All the best gwentpal

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FrankKirkdale

WOW...

Firstly THANK YOU VERY MUCH for the time and effort in finding the info. Secondly...how sad? I don't mind admitting being choked reading that.

I have spent a bit of time (Ancestry etc.) making a mess of my family history, but it fascinates me no end. These are our people, they made us. I know Frank's family received, to quote Roger Waters "a note from King George in the form of a gold leaf scroll which "His Majesty signed / In his own rubber stamp." Charles and Martha probably never ventured further than the square mile they lived in, let alone be blessed with the means to go to France and pay tribute to their son...not as if it would change anything.

I see the images and after a while they do lose resonance...these were KIDS...and for as much as the whole history thing has the shine and tinsel of cap badges, photo's of officers and the occasional mention amongst "other ranks" I cannot help but look at my own two boys (16 and 21) and thank god we never had to suffer the same.

We know more now, but these lads didn't...they did what they thought was right. God Bless them all for it.

x

If you get a chance I'd love to see more and if anybody comes across reference to Pte. Frank Hargreaves, a photo would probably finish me, then I'd be eternally grateful.

frank.hargreaves@gmail.com

THANK YOU

x

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FrankKirkdale

as an aside...

I have often wondered why Frankie, a young lad from Liverpool, ended up with the SWB. I think I read somewhere that they may have trained locally or was it the done thing to have a recruitment team located in local towns and cities at various times?

I'd like to think he'd heard the tales of red-coated hero's, last man standing against "them Zulu's"...I know I can't hear Men of Harlech without wanting to throw me boots on and get at 'em ;-) It really is the lack of records, despite what we have left, that shows me the degree these kids were used. Can you imagine any unit, friend, foe or martian...who, in this day and age, would be happy sending a letter to somebody's parents with "KIA - no known grave" note?

If there is anything else you or others have that need transcribing...I'm more than happy to share the burden.

cheers

x

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gwentpal

Frank,

Not a problem, only too glad to fill some of the missing pieces in, especially to a fellow Roger Waters fan.

Tthis time last year I wasn't even a member of this forum but soon after joining it becomes apparent that the members of this forum will always attempt to answer any question and query, all we ask in return is a simple thanks.

It's a widely held view that after conscription was introduced a conscript once mobilised could end up in any regiment, whoevers need was the greatest at the time. Although during my research into the 10th SWB I have more Liverpool and Lancashire conscripts than any other region in England, so maybe location played a part. During 1915 the infantry battalions that made up the 38th Welsh Division were in training all along the North Wales Coast so Liverpool was seen as a prime recruiting ground.

Are you from Liverpool. When Frank went missing his parents may well have put his picture in a local paper, perhaps they hold copies in Liverpool library or Liverpool Archives. A quick search on google of Liverpools WW1 roll of honour led me to a web site which mentions that Frank is commemorated on the Remberance Memorial in Liverpool Town Hall

Lol yeah I grew up thinking those Zulus had been seen off by the Martini Henry and some good close harmony siniging, oh how Hollywood lied, Extremely doubtful that the boys treated the Zulus to renditions of "Men of Harlech"

When I get some spare time this week I'll get that stuff sent over to you.

Cheers gwentpal

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FrankKirkdale

Charles and Martha lived at 50 Raymond Street, Liverpool. In 1918, much like most cities, Liverpool's population was condensed into it's centre with much of what we class today as "inner city" verging on countryside....

this scene from 1909 ? The Springfield Public House...at the bottom of this lane is not 500yards from Goodison Park and just 1.8 miles from where Raymond Street once stood.

http://www.liverpoolpicturebook.com/2013/01/LiverpoolWindmills.html

I doubt "the likes of us" went in much for newspapers, although for some strange reason (I think it's an Irish thing) we would gladly give and they would take our money for an ad in, as my mam used to call them the "weds, breds and deads" pages. I have seen the memorial scroll at the town hall and also Frank's name on the brass plate covering swathes of the Town Hall corridors in amongst gifts from afar. All seems odd to me "we will remember them"....next to a silver punch bowl and fly swatter gifted by the crown prince of Bengal...or something. :-) Cynical? moi? ;-)

I have a load of "anonymous" shots of the SWB and, probably like us all, am certain, Frankie is on most of them...he isn't..but the phrase "don't you think he looks like my arl fella" is ever present with each new photo. Hopefully, one day...

Although I have been at this a while this is the first time I have actually shared/discussed this stuff with others and I must admit it really does help breath more life into it and the motivation to find out more in the week or so since I joined this forum has, as if by magic, led me to find stuff I swear even though not new in the public domain it's new to me and I thought I had gone as far as I could.

I hope that things like this inspire others and who knows when they find something "brand new" they in turn are jogged by these conversations and who knows, one day, we may all share with pride the full story of those "other ranks".

I was born in Liverpool and, after living and working the world over, at 50 years of age find myself living not half a mile from where I was born...There's no place like home...that will put up with us ;-)

It's a pleasure and honour to "meet" you mate and I look forward to the next phase of the long, long road...

love and peace

Frankie

x

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GraemeClarke

Morning Gwentpal

Researching

Pte. 260045 Nonnie Lysons Pritchard

B Company, 11th SWB

Died 12 April 1918

http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/505005/PRITCHARD,%20NONNIE%20LYSONS

Evidently he was shot in the neck and died on an ambulance train.

Would you have the WD for about this time please, trying to find where, what, how etc,

Many thanks

Graeme

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gwentpal

Hi Graeme,

Curiouser and Curiouser as Alice said.

The 11th Battalion were one of the Battalions disbanded in the reorganisation of Brigades in February 1918, the War Diary abruptly ends on 31st Jan 1918 simply reading

"Batt working on areas as previously. Weather cold."

Not even any mention of the impending break up.

Ive looked at Atkinson's 1914-18 history and he records

"Its disbandment took place in February, seven officers and 150 men being transferred to the 10th on February 16th. Detachments were also dispatched to join the 1st and 2nd SWB, 15 Officers being posted to the former and nine to the latter, but the bulk of the battalion was kept together for some little time longer under the title of the 2nd Entrenching Battalion and was not finally dispersed till early in April.

A later footnote reads "Of about 750 men still on the 11ths strength at the end of February about 200 were posted to the 5th Battalion early in April, but a party who had not been posted to any unit were actually thrown into the fighting on the Lys and nearly 70 of them were struck off in May as missing"

Just looking again at later pages in Atkinson and I think I've found what you're looking for, it describes the remaining unitless men being thrown into action at Merville on April 11th/12th.

Do I have your e mail address?? Send it on just in case and i'll type the report up for you.

Strange to think of those men still roaming around France without any information being recorded in a War Diary.

You probably know by the number that Nonnie wasn't a member of the original Btn but was a Territorial soldier which is why he has the six figure number. I've had a look at men in the 10th and found the following.

260042 Joseph Edwin Smith (Born Hagley) Deemed to have attested 17th Feb 1916 (Wolverhampton), mobilised 13th March 1917 and originally posted to 5th South Staffs, posted 1st Mons TF 21st July 1917, transferred to 11th Btn SWB 6th August 1917. Joseph was posted to the 10th Btn in May 1918 so looks like he would have been part of the 2nd Entrenching Btn too and maybe survived Merville. The closeness in numbers between Nonnie and Joseph suggest they may have followed the same path but as you know following the introduction of conscription its a bit hard to work out exact dates of enlistment and mobilisation.

Cheers gwentpal

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GraemeClarke

Hi



Many thanks for the detailed reply.



His medal roll has the following, which seems to confirm your comments ??



post-10072-0-27051700-1427118842_thumb.j



Will PM my e-mail address,



Regards,



Graeme


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GraemeClarke

Morning

A massive public thanks to Gavin for his detailed and time consuming answer to my question.

Many thanks for all the hard work, Gavin, appreciate it,

Regards,

Graeme

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gwentpal

Thanks Graeme,

Never a problem digging out info for people like yourself who I know appreciate the effort.

I firmly believe the passing on of stories and deeds performed by the men who fought in WW1 help to keep the memories going that bit longer and also bring the deeds to a wider audience. So much has faded away in the last 100 years.

I'll admit that apart from the main extracts on the 10th and 11th SWB I've never had time to read Atkinsons history fully, so this was an eye opener for me too. So as of this morning there's now two extra people who know the story of these 60 or 70 men, seemingly forgotten by the Regiment, unitless and thrown into Merville to stem the tide of the German advance, who although outnumbered fought on until the last eight remaining men were taken prisoner. I have no doubt that while they fought, the men would still have been fighting for the honour of the disbanded 11th Battalion.

Cheers gwentpal

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Don Regiano

Hi Gwentpal.

I recently acquired the death plaque for Wilfred Webster who served in the 10th battalion SWB. His service number was 40437. Prior to this he was with the Royal Sussex Regiment (2386). He was KIA on 13 June 1917 and is buried in the cemetery at Ferme-Olivier, Elverdinghe. We will be paying our respects when we visit the battlefields in June. It would be interesting to know if you have any information on him or the action at the time. I cannot find any reference to any SWB involvement in action at that date but understand you have the war diary.

Thanks.

Reg

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gwentpal

Hi Reg,

Will send you a pm later today.

Cheers gwentpal

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